ACCIDENTS BY DROPPED OBJECTS: MORE COMMON THAN WE THINK

Anti-Drop

Accidents from dropped objects in workplaces are very common events and, in some cases, they end up with fatalities. Just in the United States, according to the most recent data, the number of casualties in accidents due to falling objects amounted to 255. In addition, the construction sector concentrated around 50,000 workers injured by the same cause. It is also worth mentioning that, in the same country, accidents due to dropped objects is the third leading cause of workplace injuries.

In the UK the same scenario is repeated, where dropped objects are the third reason for workplace deaths. In addition, according to more recent data, there were 7,000 of employees injured by this cause, of which 75% were more than seven days off.

If we move to the European Union, approximately 30% of the accidents where the hit with an object was involved, resulted in the death of the injured victim. In particular, the transport and storage sector concentrates much of these tragedies with approximately 55% of deaths.

Keep in mind that the heavier the object, the more serious the consequences, and if it falls, the more serious the consequences will be. Hence, among the most common injuries are trauma and fractures. It can even lead to the operator not being able to work in his life by suffering from some kind of paraplegia.

That is why we must be aware of the need to introduce means that ensure the integrity of workers, both means of training and safety awareness, and the use of tools equipped for work at heights.

Moreover, it is no longer only about the cost of life, but also the economic cost that this entails for companies in general. In the United States alone, according to recent data, $5.3 billion was the cost in compensation to workers affected by this type of workplace accident.

REGULATORY FIELD AND CERTIFICATIONS

There is still neither a standard nor a specific legislation.

Directive 2001/45/EC, concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work says: “If temporary work at a height cannot be carried out safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions from a suitable surface, the work equipment most suitable to ensure and maintain safe working conditions must be selected.”

DROPS is an industry-wide initiative focused on preventing dropped objects, with the ultimate goal of delivering dropped objects prevention strategy across our industry.

DROPS is represented by over 200 organizations, including operators, manufacturers, service companies, etc. from many industries internationally.